March 16, 2013 - 12:05 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Secretary of State John Kerry voiced support on Friday, March 15 for an international treaty to regulate the $70 billion global arms trade, but restated Washington's "red line," affirming that it would not accept limits on U.S. domestic gun ownership, Reuters said.
The U.N. General Assembly voted in December to hold a final round of negotiations from March 18 to 28 on what could become the first international treaty to regulate international weapons transfers after a drafting conference in July 2012 collapsed because the United States and others wanted more time.
Arms control campaigners say one person every minute dies worldwide as a result of armed violence and that a convention is needed to prevent the unregulated and illicit flow of weapons into conflict zones fueling wars and atrocities.
"The United States is steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty that helps address the adverse effects of the international arms trade on global peace and stability," Kerry said in a statement.
"An effective treaty that recognizes that each nation must tailor and enforce its own national export and import control mechanisms can generate the participation of a broad majority of states, help stem the illicit flow of conventional arms across international borders and have important humanitarian benefits."
But he repeated that the United States - the world's No. 1 arms manufacturer - would not accept any treaty that imposed new limits on U.S. citizens' right to bear arms, a sensitive political issue in the United States.